Theatre Chant: Eat the Babies

Two Informants told me of this theatre tradition, meant to prepare the cast and amp them up before the show. The cast gathers around in a circle, wrapping their arms around their neighbor’s shoulders, and begin chanting very fast:

We’re gonna rape, kill, pillage, and burn, we’re gonna rapekillpillageandburn (eat the babies!)

They will alternate between whispering and then shouting or screaming the chant until they feel adequately prepared for the show.

Neither Informant, one male and the other female, liked this chant very much. They found that their friends had more fun participated in this chant more than they did, and they chose to not participate themselves, despite participating in other theatre chants and traditions.

A different chant “My Acka Backa” was much preferred by my female informant, as it was much less lyrically violent. Both rhymes are fairly similar in what they achieve, and in how they are physically practiced. The difference is simply in the aggressive the lyrics are, as opposed to these fairly sexual lyrics, though the actions performed and the volume of singing is both equally aggressive.